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An atheist reviews a modern Christian witch-hunter's book

Wicked witch
Wicked witch

Destroying the Works of Witchcraft through Fasting & Prayer

By Ruth Brown

Impact Christian Books, Inc., 1994
ISBN #0-89228-110-3

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
(Old Scottish prayer)

Ruth Brown believes in witches... and not the New Age kind who meet around coffee tables or celebrate Nature. No, Ruth Brown believes in the old-fashioned variety; the ones who consort with demons, dry up your milk cow or curse your fields and wither your crops. And this is the kind Ruth Brown has been fighting for 15 years as a spiritual warrior appointed by God himself. Now she wishes to share her expertise with everyone - in Jesus' name and because God told her to.

Witches and warlocks, their male counterparts, are everywhere, according to Mz. Brown. You can meet them in the street, in your home or place of work. Worse yet, they might be sitting right beside you in your church; especially in your church! Everywhere they sow strife and discord; and sowing it among Christians is especially pleasing to Satan, their demonic master.

Here is Mz. Brown's account of her first encounter with a witch/warlock. It happened in a liquor store where her sister worked and where Mz. Brown was in the habit of handing out bible tracts whenever her sister's boss wasn't present:

One day, a young man entered the store and began contradicting me. I approached him with my Bible open to show him John 3:16,

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should perish but have everlasting life."

As I came within about three feet of him, I looked into his eyes and saw snake heads coming out of the pupils of his eyes. It appeared that the worms were crawling around on his face. I shouted, "He's the devil!"

He replied, with a strange voice, "I am sweet Satan." Afterwards, he jumped on his bicycle and rode off.

Mz. Brown and her ministry are well-known to Satan and hated by him. That's why, she says, she has been the frequent target of his attacks through witches and their demonic familiars. Here she describes one that occurred after she had broken a nurse's (the term Mz. Brown uses is "nurse-witch") curse and concluded a successful faith-healing:

Shortly afterwards, a great presence of evil surrounded my hand I had terrible headaches every day. I tried to find out from various ministers what was going on. Ministers can be really good at avoiding a situation when they want to do so. They suggested that it was all in my mind. But I forgave them.

Fortunately for Mz. Brown, she's found plenty of other ministers with greater sympathy for her beliefs.

Times being a little different from the 17th century, no one is allowed to burn witches at the stake anymore and Ruth Brown has found her own remedy for the plague of witches: prayer and fasting. It's through these that she receives her divine instructions on how to destroy their works. Mz. Brown regularly fasts 3 days at a time, taking neither food or water and subsisting only on prayer (sometimes in Tongues or, as she calls it, the "Heavenly Language"). When she fasts, she sometimes records her prayers and puts the recording on continuous playback so she can be praying even while asleep. It's during these prayer/fasting sessions that Ruth Brown receives her marching orders from God and conducts her warfare against witchcraft. She recommends a good herbal laxative to cleanse the poisons from your system before beginning a fast.

On a number of occasions, 3 days of fasting aren't enough to get the job done and God instructs her to begin a marathon session. She mentions 21 day prayer/fasts (presumably, she at least takes fluids during these but she doesn't say) but whatever length required, Jesus always comes through for her in the end and the power of witchcraft cannot stand against her. Now, Mz. Brown says, God wants something more:

God gave me the assignment to write this book to enlighten the Church on the operation of witchcraft, so the body of Christ would not have to suffer these attacks any longer. We have the power through Christ Jesus to destroy these works and to stop them. If one can put a thousand to flight, and two can put ten thousand to flight, just think what the whole body of Christ can do...

The church must wake up. It must arise and take its victorious position in Christ. God has given us the power to destroy all the works of witchcraft through fasting and prayer, in the Name of Jesus!

It's tempting to look at a book like this and dismiss it as the ravings of someone with some serious delusions. After all, Ruth Brown's beliefs sound like something that belongs in the Dark Ages; not the 21st century. The problem is, she's not alone in them. "Destroying the Works of Witchcraft" was published by a Christian publishing house and distributed in churches across the nation. And people who believe this nonsense number in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, here in the US alone. They are not an aberration in anything other than the rational sense. They walk among us; living in the same world, if not with the same perception of it; and they work, teach and vote based on these beliefs. They even hold conventions (check the suggested links below for one to an exorcist's conference in Texas). They are to social, scientific and civil liberties progress what an anchor chain is to a ship underway. That's why we can't dismiss or ignore them. Knowledge may be power but ignorance and delusion are too.

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